Two Iowa-based Chevrolet-brand enthusiasts and John Deere Company employees are very popular racers within the U.S. heartland with a pair of classic cars campaigned in Stock Eliminator.
Johnny Diekema, from Blue Grass, Iowa, has for the past two seasons been behind the wheel of this 1965 Corvette. Diekema’s machine is for sure pretty unique as it is one of only a few AA/S-classed cars now legal in competition. 1965 was the only year that Chevrolet offered its Corvette model with a 396ci (385hp) engine option and Johnny’s is exactly that. After acquiring the car from its previous owner, Johnny brought the rollcage up to modern standards for certification. This Corvette features a straight-axle 12-bolt rearend and original control arms and leaf springs. Weighing in at 3,055 pounds, the Corvette, which features a cool bronze paint finish by David Cech, has a best run of 9.76 at nearly 140 mph.
Tait Steines, who is from Calamus, Iowa, runs an extremely well-prepped 1970 Chevelle in C/SA. This car features a 402ci (375hp) engine program and is capable of 10.5 elapsed times, compared to the NHRA class index of 11.40. Tait acquired his car back in 2006 then took two years to expertly self-assemble it. The black Chevelle is pretty heavy (it tips the scales at 3,800 pounds), but Tait has been able to use the transfer of that weight in a cool fashion—his car is fan famous for its high-flying starting line antics. The most recent tech upgrade for the Chevelle was a new, more durable transmission (a Pro Trans) program during 2016.
Johnny and Tait, who are both employed as manufacturing engineers at John Deere Construction Equipment, field and race extensively together in the Midwest. In addition to some independent Stock/Super Stock circuits they also frequent select national events and divisional races within NHRA Divisions 3 and 5.
My Longtime Impala Pal!
Pennsylvania is home state for a long-running vintage Stocker owned by Kevin Fogerty. Over time, Kevin’s 1965 Impala N/SA has become a very rare bird indeed with the current shift to more modern cars within Stock Eliminator racing. Kevin, a military veteran, reports that he has owned this car for almost five decades, since returning home from the Vietnam War back in 1970. Back then, when he was based at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, he converted the then street-driven Impala for Stock Eliminator drag racing. In 2008, he sent the car to builder Kenny Coone who applied new sheetmetal, chrome, and paint. The present-day version features a 250hp 327ci engine, which Kevin built and maintains himself. Kevin’s biggest claims to fame in drag racing is being an 11x national record holder and a huge Stock Eliminator win at the NHRA Keystone Nationals back in 2002. He races with his wife, Cheryl, and also his son Kevin Jr., who drives a 1967 Camaro Stocker.
S.C. Classical Gas
A continuing, positive drag racing phenomenon is the presence of restoration and racing for vintage machines from the sport’s rich, regional past. Greg Porter of Greenville, South Carolina, is certainly one of those players. Greg has been entertaining drag racing fans with his supercharged, nostalgic-looking 1955 Chevy gasser. Greg reports that his machine is an original 1960’s-era gasser formally owned by John Lollis and driven by Dude Moore and campaigned from 1963-’70. Greg acquired the Night Stalker in 2005 and refurbished it. It features a 434ci small-block Chevy built by Fulton Competition and a transmission by Hightower Racing Transmissions. Greg is a well-traveled and frequent runner within various Nostalgia drag racing circuits, including the very popular Geezer Gassers group. Greg, the owner of Highway 123 Speed Shop, has become a crowd favorite with his “mongo” burnouts to half track before each run as part of his regular routine.